I bought five RBLs on a whim one night and this one emerged as my favorite. It's understated, classy. All the colors I bought apply so smoothly, not at all globby or streaky. I would describe Ani as a champagne-gold with understated shimmer. The price is a little steep, but this color is a definite repurchase for me as I don't have anything else in my (small) collection that comes close to it. Not as important, but I also like the rectangular-based bottle design that allows you to line up all your RBLs cheek to cheek and they look so organized.
NW20. Black hair. Brown eyes. Pigmented lips. Lover of neutrals. Writing a review only because after viewing so many promo pics and swatches, I was still so torn on whether to get Lavender Whip. I was going to add a picture to my review, but I think KarlaSugar's swatches were pretty accurate. It looks a bit loud in the tube, but does not apply opaquely. Instead, it's a sheered out version of what's in the tube - a beauteous color!! I'm terrible at describing colors, but I would call it pinky-lavender. There's a definite lavender hue. But it doesn't scream lavender. I don't plan on wearing this everyday, but I could see this becoming a staple in someone's mu bag. Really does have a creamy application, staying power is average (4-5ish hours?). I purchased Ever So Rich to wear over Lavender Whip - and I have to say they are a perfect pairing. If you're going to buy LW, I highly recommend Ever So Rich, or similar gloss. It just adds to the beauty. My only time wearing it (last night!), I tried it paired with the dusky violet shade in Stylish Move and used Vellum as a highlighter...it was almost on the verge of being *too* purple-y. But not quite - I was still happy with the combination. Next time I'll try it with more neutral eyeshadow, but maybe still use Vellum. It's sort of like a red lippie in that I think the trick is to make it the star. (For me anyway - I'm not one for colors that stray very far from neutral.)
Lip Gloss -Maybelline - Volume Seduction Plumping Gloss
meandering 8/9/2008 6:59:00 PM
Let me start this review by saying I have very nice lips. They're probably the only part of me that I am totally satisfied with. So, no, I'm not really looking for any plumping action. But Walgreens was giving these away for free a couple of months ago and so I thought I may as well try them. I think they retail for about $8 or $9. I chose Seductively Nude b/c I am a hoarder of nude lippies...absolutely beautiful color! Not the most pigmented gloss I've ever used, but there is definitely some color there. I can't vouch for the more "outgoing" shades as I'd never be brave enough to wear them sadly. There is a nice little variety though. The product is dispensed in a pen-length click-system. Turn the bottom of the applicator and product is pushed up through tiny holes. I was at first wary but it works beautifully. Once product oozes through the holes, just swipe on like a lipstick. When the cap is on, there is still a plastic "bubble" of product exposed so you can identify what color you are reaching for if you have more than one. Texture of the gloss leans more to the slick side. NOT sticky at all (ahem, Lip Glass...). Don't get me wrong, my hair will still stick to it if it's blowing about in the wind, but if I smack my lips together they're not cemented into place. Pretty decent lasting ability for a d/s l/g. If I don't eat/drink it lasts for my entire 8 hr shift at work. I don't play with my lips much though (biting, licking, etc). If I DO eat some of its sheen is definitely reduced but color is still there. These last quite awhile. I was using this every single day for the first month I got it. I'm now trying to diversify a little bit, but still use it quite often. And I use a ton each time I apply it, at least 4-5 clicks. There's still tons left from what I can tell. I've had it at least...two and a half to three months. Now, onto the plumping! Ermmm...not so much. There's definitely strong tingling, sometimes burning, sensations to make you *think* there's plumping. But in reality, I can't tell a difference at all in the mirror. My lips certainly *felt* swollen, I was expecting to see quite a transformation. So...two thumbs down on that. I wasn't expecting this but...I have grown to LOVE the tingling/burning sensation. I don't know why. It's addictive! It's started a lip plumping gloss obsession with me. Though I've tried many, most h/e, I keep returning to this d/s one. I gave it 3 lippies even though I love it b/c I figure most people are buying this for plumping qualities and not tingly feelings...and it's not so hot in that area. And I'm sure you know by now...yes I will be buying again. EDIT 8/12/08: Well it figures a few days after I write my review about how I've still got tons of product left, I find out it's nearing the end! :) I just wanted to add to my review that when the gloss is almost out, the gloss starts to disappear from the "bubble" of color that can be seen whether the cap is on or off. Like the gloss is getting pushed up thru the the bubble then out the applicator. So a pretty good system to know when you need to buy more.
Primer/ Corrector -MAC - Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50
meandering 8/9/2008 5:19:00 PM
This stuff is amazing. I have about 7 or 8 different powders all claiming to reduce oiliness with no cakiness, blahblahblah...most looked great upon initial application, but didn't stand up as they claimed to throughout the day. Very disappointing. I'm not even that oily! I decided to try Prep & Prime SPF 50 on a whim (after reading reviews of course) and I am not disappointed. Actually, I'm surprised that 100% of people wouldn't buy this again. I first moisturize very heavily, both face and eyes. I let that sink in and then use about a nickel sized dab of PnP for my whole face, concentrating on my tzone as that's where most of my oiliness is. I do not apply very closely to my eye area as I have had sensitivity issues there before. I use my fingers. I let that sink in then apply MAC SFF Liquid w/ the 187. *Amazing* results! Airbrushed! I tried finishing with a powder my first time using PnP - big mistake (for me anyway). Dry patches suddenly appeared all over my face, especially around my nose (which is oily!) - eeks! So now I go without powder...and I look better!! PnP does not give a totally matte look, nor would I call it a "glow" either. It's just non-oily perfection. And the best part - it laaaaasts! All day. Literally. I've been sweating before and my face still looks perfect. I don't know how this is possible. I agree with the previous reviewr that said it is like UDPP for the face. I am still able to use contouring powders and powder blushes over PnP without dry patches appearing. Perhaps it was just that one face powder (LM Translucent) that caused the dry patches the first time I used it? I haven't broken out from PnP but I haven't been using it for very long. I am a bit paranoid since it works so well I feel like it must be clinging to my face. My face soap doesn't sudse up like it used to. So I have been extra-vigilant about washing my face very well (scrubbing gently...like there's no tomorrow) and using clarifying masks at least once a week. I don't sleep with makeup on anyway (see above: I'm paranoid) but *if* I did, I still wouldn't fall asleep with this on my face. Yes, I suppose it's a bit on the expensive side...especially for being MAC. The tube is micro-sized. I don't think I quite grasped that until I saw it for myself. However, like I said before, I only use a nickel-sized amount for my whole face so it should last a decent amount of time. It comes in a black squeeze tube with a flip top cap and so far I have had no problems dispensing product. Very sanitary. I will definitely be repurchasing this again and again. I'm adding it to my short list of HGs. Five makeup products on a deserted island? This is definitely one of them. Maybe even #1. EDIT 2/4/09: I only just now opened a new bottle of this, so with daily use, nickel-sized application, one tube lasts me...about 6 months. Pretty good. I still love it. I have started layering MAC SF Powder over it and no there are no dry patches. So perhaps it *was* just that powder I first used that didn't mesh well with PnP. I have just one complaint and that is the white cast the sunscreen causes in pictures. Not really the product's fault though. Leaving this a 5-star review - in fact, would add stars if I could.
Highlighters -Shiseido - Accentuating Color Stick In Glistening Flush
meandering 2/2/2008 10:05:00 PM
Amaaazing highlighter for a truly dewy, glowy look...NOT the oily, greasy look you get from so many other non powder highlighters. It is a dry-feeling solid...the consistency sort of reminds me of stick deodorants, but not as dry. It's creamy enough that it doesn't tug on my skin when I apply it. Glistening Flush is a beautiful pinky-beige color, which I think is the perfect highlight shade. There's no noticeable glitter, just subtle luminosity. It's extremely easy to use and lasts forever since you need so little. The packaging is super convenient, a twist up chubby stick with a cap...sort of like a giant lipstick. Will definitely repurchase.
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant
meandering 2/2/2008 9:57:00 PM
Love PC 2% BHA gel! I use it every night on a clean face and it leaves my skin so so smooth and soft. One pump is enough for my whole face and I use an additional pump for my neck. The gel consistency spreads easily and evenly. No tingling/burning/anything of that sort, but I do not have sensitive skin. However, there is a slightly tacky/sticky feeling while the gel is drying, which can last up to about 20 minutes. I paid around $14-15, but I do believe they've increased the prices recently. Since such a small amount is needed though, the bottle has lasted me several months and I believe there's still a lot left. Definitely worth the money. No distinguishable scent to me. Will repurchase. EDIT 8/9/08: So...it's been six months and I still LOVE PC 2% BHA gel. Also, I'm still on the SAME bottle I purchased in 2007! I could easily see this bottle lasting me a year...or more! I'm changing my price rating to "1" Dirt Cheap, seeing as it lasts so long. I'd like to reinforce how *smooth* this leaves my skin, it's incredible. (I did end up trying the 2% BHA Lotion for the Body a few months ago, thinking it would make my skin soft...but it didn't work that well.)
Dr. Brandt PNM is one of my staple products. I have noticeable pores on my nose - I wouldn't call them large, but they are definitely there. A tiny bit of PNM on my nose before foundation really helps to diminish them. It is a thick concealer colored cream with a slight medicinal scent. Great packaging, a soft tube with a pump - extremely easy to pump out only the amount you want. It is a bit pricey, but worth it for me as I'm only using a small amount and so it will last forever. Will repurchase. EDIT 8/9/08: I've since moved on to MAC PnP SPF 50 which controls my oilies so much better (seriously...HG status, go check my review). I don't want to downplay how great PNM is at minimizing the appearance of my pores, MAC's product just offers something better. I'm leaving my overall rating at a "4" b/c PNM *does* do what it claims to do. However, I will not be repurchasing this product again.
Scrubs -Unlisted Brand - Eminence Pear & Poppy Seed Microderm Polisher
meandering 2/2/2008 9:42:00 PM
Love, love, love this scrub! It is a bit expensive, but so worth it. I bought my last tub in July and after using 2-3 times/week, still have enough for another couple months. I only use two pea-sized amounts for my face and neck. It's a gritty scrub, which is what I find so great about it. I agree with the previous reviewer on the gel-like consistencty - it's easy to spread around, unlike other, creamier scrubs which seem to disappear as soon as I start rubbing. My skin feels very refreshed after using it. The packaging isn't the greatest: it comes in a tub with a small scoop. I lost the scoop after a few months and started using my fingers. Not the most sanitary, a large squeeze tube would be a better option. I will definitely be purchasing again though, as it's the only scrub I've ever used on a consistent basis. EDT 8/9/08: I ran out of this a couple of months ago and have not repurchased. I still stand by my initial review that this is a great scrub. It is, however, expensive and sort of a pain to get (I have to order EO on the internet - you may have an actual retailer near you. I first got it at a spa in CA.). Desperate for a gritty, grainy scrub and no time to wait for shipping, I started using St. Ives, which gets the job done. I may repurchase EO Pear & Poppy Seed once St. Ives has run out. Oh! And I 2nd the reviewer below me who suggests EO Hungarian Mud Mask - not for the sensitive skinned though. Does burn. A lot. In a good way. :)
MAC Accentuate/Sculpt is fabulous, my new absolutely necessary step when putting on my face. There are only about three things in my entire stash that I have backups of, and this is one of them. I have a round face and Accentuate/Sculpt gives the desired contouring effects (as much as can be achieved anyway)...and it's sooo easy! The highlighter shade is a very luminous pinky-beige...the finish is similar to NARS Albatross. A glow. Subtle, pretty - not at all resembling an oil slick. The contouring shade is perfection. Not dirty looking, not orange, not fake - just subtle shadows. I find $21 very reasonable for such an HG product. As a sidenote, I bought the 138 (tapered face) brush as well, but it is definitely not necessary. EDIT 8/9/08: I still use this nearly every day and love it! However, I only use the Sculpt side. I'm just going thru a period right now where I don't find highlighters all that necessary. Sculpt still delivers perfect contouring results. Love it! And, I've decided I love the 138 as well. Especially since I'm only using one side of the pan, the tapered brush is really great at just picking up Sculpt.
Eye Primer -Too Faced - Shadow Insurance, Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
meandering 2/2/2008 9:04:00 PM
Huge rave! I was a devout user of UDPP for several years until I started experiencing a strange reaction with my right eyelid. It became severly dry and irritated and I had to toss my beloved UDPP. I tried several other products and of course nothing came close. Then enter TF Shadow Insurance. Wow. A slightly creamier consistency, the same concealer-like shade, a much more convenient squeeze tube (not to mention more sanitary)...and it doesn't irritate my eyes! My eye makeup lasted ALL DAY...perfection. It was a breeze to blend over Shadow Insurance as well, something I always had a problem with using UDPP. Will definitely purchase again. Though it seems, like UDPP, it will probably last a long time. But with Shadow Insurance you won't have to mutilate the packaging to get to the remaining fifty percent. :) EDIT 8/9/08: Unfortunately TFSI ended up irritating my eye as well. Shame, because it really is a great product. I'm leaving my ratings the same and saying I would repurchase again, only b/c if my eye wasn't so sensitive, I would in a heartbeat.
I haven't felt in the mood to write reviews for a while but this gem definitely deserves a huge rave. First, let me start off by saying that I love neutral lippies. Unchanging is not a new and innovative color...but it is beautiful. It's the perfect MLBB. But the thing that makes it my new favorite lippie is that it's the perfect MLBB *that LASTS*. All day. Doesn't matter what I do: eat, drink, kiss DH, chew my lips, lick my lips, vigorously rub my lips in an attempt to find something that will rub Pro Longwear off...and still it's there. My perfect shade. I'm planning on buying many many backups of these even though they are supposed to be part of the permanent line b/c I had a heck of a time tracking Passion Preserved down after it sold out. Retails for $20, but honestly worth it. I use the tiniest bit and it's enough for my full lips. I top with the tiniest bit of gloss for more of a sheen than a full on shiny, glossy topcoat. Perfection. EDIT 02/17/08: I have recently tried layering this over darker lippies as suggested below...with fantastic results! It tames down too loud colors and gives me completely new options...that last of course! So far I have two backups and I'm planning on getting several more. I have nothing in my stash that I love more dearly than Unchanging. EDIT 05/14/08: I have also topped MAC Slimshines over Unchanging and it works beautifully. Just enough moisture but still longlasting. Yay! EDIT 08/09/08: I have a new obsession with lip-plumping glosses - they too are terrific over Pro Longwear lippies. I'm up to 3 backups.
***PIC in this review***
I got this as a sample with an online Sephora order and nearly gave it away as a swap package extra...so glad I didn't, otherwise I would have never tried the gorgeousness that is Tarte Park Avenue Princess!
It is the *perfect* bronzer...not muddy, not dirty. It has gold shimmer throughout, but believe me, it is not overload. I am NOT a person that likes shimmer all over their face (not a fan of MSFs or SBs), and this shimmer is very subtle. I've used it as bronzer and I've used it to contour...works fabulous both ways. (EDIT 02/17/08: Ever since buying MAC Accentuate/Sculpt to use for contouring, I use Tarte PAP strictly as a bronzer.) I'm swapping away my other bronzers (including what I previously thought was HG, Guerlain Terracotta) b/c this is so so so perfect!
Also, just want to throw in that the packaging is darling! Gold case with a mini gold chain on the outside. Snap magnetic closure. EDIT 8/9/08: I haven't been reaching for PAP quite as often, haven't felt the need for much bronzer I guess. I stand by my original statement that it is a beautiful color. Perfect for anyone who loves bronzer. Just not me at the moment I guess. But am keeping it in hopes it will get more use one day.
Self Tanners -Unlisted Brand - Savage Bronzer ] [DISCONTINUED]
meandering 6/4/2007 6:46:00 PM
If you have the time and patience for proper application, Savage Bronzer is an excellent product. It's super cheap - I paid only $8.99 USD for a 150 mL pump bottle.
The bottle design is wonderful - the pump dispenses a good amount of foam in a sanitary way. Also, it doesn't leak all over the place.
Here's my application technique: first, I take a shower and shave my legs, if necessary. I use Savage Bronzer Body Polisher ($4.99 USD for 236 mL squeeze bottle) with a pouf to exfoliate, though any exfoliater would do just as decent a job, I'm sure. I dry completely and applied body lotion everywhere. After the lotion has sunk in, I apply Savage Bronzer. Shake the bottle, then dispense the foam as necessary. Here's what I use:
3-5 pumps for each leg/foot
3 pumps for the front of my body/neck
2-3 pumps per arm
I do not do my back since my fiance is usually at work when I'm applying ST. There is no obvious line where ST stops and naked skin begins.
The first time I applied, I used bare hands. This is a pain b/c I had to stop b/t body parts to wash my hands. This was a fruitless effort as my hands still showed evidence of ST. Now, I use snug fitting latex gloves - this works great. I actually find the ST goes further (perhaps b/c it's not sinking into my hands?).
Rub, rub, rub it in! It dries in less than two minutes. I then apply another coat of body lotion, per suggestions in earlier reviews. This supposedly avoids any obvious marks and helps to get a more even appearance.
Hang out naked for at least a half hour or so. My skin is slightly tacky/sticky for the rest of the night.
I'd like to stress that it is near impossible to mess up application too much. I have a perfect, even tan. No splotches, no marks.
The color is fantastic - a nice bronzey/brown. However, on my heels, the color does appear to be slightly yellow/orange. I usually need to rub them vigorously with an alcohol wipe to solve the problem.
I do not find the smell very offensive. To me, it smells faintly of fake chocolate. I don't even really smell it after five minutes or so. However, my fiance knows if it was "ST night" as soon as he walks in the door. To him, the smell is strong and offensive (this being at least 3-4 hours after I have applied the ST). Let it be said that I do not have a very strong sense of smell and he has an extremely sensitive sense of smell. So, the actual stink of Savage Bronzer is probably somewhere in between.
If I don't have time for a quick shower the next morning, I can apply fruity body lotion to effectively "drown out" the smell of Savage Bronzer.
I use Clarins to tan my face and there are no obvious lines b/t where Savage stops and Clarins begins.
I've never used any other ST besides Clarins (only on my face) and Savage Bronzer so I cannot clarify how SB differs from other brands. However, it does do a good enough job that I have not considered finding an alternative.
EDIT 8/9/08...RIP Savage Bronzer. And I haven't found anything else quite like it. I know, I know it's bad for me but I'm back to self-tanning...on an occassional basis. When I'm feeling too pale.
Lip Gloss -Jordana - INColor Pretty Shine Luxury Gloss -- Gorgeous
meandering 5/15/2007 2:34:00 AM
Amazing quality for a very very small price! The scent is super sweet, which can be irritatingly so after a while, but I've smelled a whole lot worse. The pigmentation is incredible. The lasting power is decent. These glosses are not sticky at all - they are slick and smooth and feel great on my lips!
Gorgeous is the second color - a gorgeous shimmery ruby red!
EDIT 8/9/08: I still believe these are great glosses, but I have a new obsession with lip-plumpers so I haven't reached for these at all. I'm decreasing the overall rating from "5" which I save for products I can't live without to "4."
Lotions/ Creams -Eucerin - Aquaphor Healing Ointment
meandering 2/20/2007 1:22:00 AM
My mom gave me a huge tub of Aquaphor and told me it would come in handy. I didn't believe her and it sat in my medicine cabinet for ages. When I joined MUA, I saw how everyone touted Aquaphor and decided to give it a try. Well! Did I learn my lesson or what? Moms are always right.
Aquaphor has become my HG lip balm, first of all. And at first I was leery about putting it on my lips b/c it looked like Vaseline and for some reason I can't stand Vaseline on my lips for more than two seconds. But, Aquaphor is wonderful as a lip balm - it sinks in immediately, smooths my lips, and even gives them a nice shiny appearance! I have found my lips less drying as a whole since I started using Aquaphor on them. And...I put a small bit on and let it sink in before applying lipstick - it's a dream! No more chapped, flaky parts of peeling lips/lipstick! I even filled a 5g screw top jar with Aquaphor and carry it with me as lip balm on-the-go.
I also unfortunately ran out of my HG Shisiedo Benefiance Revitalizing Eye Cream and can't afford another pot...luckily, Aquaphor saves the day (night?) because it makes a fantastic nighttime moisturizer for eyes! I just dab it on all over my eye area and I wake up with the softest, smoothest skin.
And lastly, I started using Differin gel on my face, which sometimes gives me odd dry patches that burn if I try to put normal face moisturizer on them. You'll never guess what the perfect soothing ointment is...
Aquaphor is cheap and it really does come in handy for all sorts of situations.
EDIT 8/9/08: I still reach for Aquaphor for all sorts of odds-and-ends uses. I have, since my original review, been able to purchase my beloved Shisiedo Benefiance (which I will never be out of again, I don't care how expensive it is). Though Aquaphor is a great multitasker, I don't want anyone getting the impression that it is on par with Shisiedo. Aquaphor is a jack of many trades, master of none. Very handy to have around when you run out of your favorite whatever and you're in a pinch.